Farmworkers harvesting lettuce

Farmworkers harvest lettuce near Gonzales. 

On Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown extended overtime pay for farmworkers throughout California, and the historic reform will likely jolt the Salad Bowl of the World—for better or for worse.

The bill will require employers to pay overtime to workers who work more than eight hours a day or more than 40 hours a week. The implementation of the new law will be phased out in four years, starting in 2018, except for employers with 25 or fewer employees. They will be given two more years to transition into the change.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez commended Brown for “ensuring overtime protections for California workers on farms and in our homes—some of our most vulnerable workers.”

Locally, the bill is lauded by farmworkers and criticized by farmers. When it was under consideration, local farmers said they would not be able to afford overtime pay on top on an increased minimum wage and healthcare costs. They also said a solution will likely be to give workers less hours.

Meanwhile, farmworkers are excited about the prospect of more money and doubt their hours will be cut due to the lack of available workers.

You make our work happen.

The article you’re about to read is from our reporters doing their important work — investigating, researching, and writing their stories.

We want to provide informative and inspirational stories that connect you to the people, issues and opportunities within our community.

Journalism takes a lot of resources. Today, our business model has been interrupted by the pandemic; the vast majority of our advertisers’ businesses have been impacted. That’s why the Weekly is now turning to you for financial support. Learn more about our new Insider’s program here.

Thank you.


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.